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What Starter Additives Add Up To More Yield?

October 6, 2011
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director

In the Farm Journal Test Plots, using starting fertilizer has shown a 7 to 10 bu. increase. There are many additives that can be added to starter mixes claiming to boost yields further. In Episode 2 of Corn College TV Season 2, Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie explains how farmers can make smart choices with starter additives.

“There are a lot of additives to put in starter today, and some of those are showing their worth,” he says. “We’ve seen consistent responses to adding a good source of zinc, for example.”:
But Ferrie warns that blindly adding additives will not pay.
“Before you go hog wild, put the additives you are considering in your own field trials,” he explains. “Make them give you numbers on your farm.”
He continues to say that he conducts starter studies every year not only looking at additives but also different blends of starter and how the fertilizer application can improve yields. Learn more in this episode of Corn College TV:  

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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

happy - PA
Ken does not tell us "what starter additives add up to more yield". Ken says "figure it out yourself". Become a research farm and don't believe folks that may have a considerable agronomic background who could point you toward a great product using a comman sense approach. Certain micro nutrients (zinc) are valuable in your starter, especially when soils are deficient or if you're planting early in cold soils (48 - 54 f ). Root stimulants may be helpful, but not if your fertility needs a lot of work. The bottom line is... Work with an agronomist that has a good reputation and knows how to say "I don't know", and except you may have quite a bit of lime and other fertilizers (manure) to apply before you will realize a benefit from "starter additives". A lot of folks have their favorite "snake oil" and will talk for hours why you should be using it on every acre. Ask for labels and review the active ingredient(s) with a qualified agronomst(s).
8:11 AM Oct 6th
 
happy - PA
Ken does not tell us "what starter additives add up to more yield". Ken says "figure it out yourself". Become a research farm and don't believe folks that may have a considerable agronomic background who could point you toward a great product using a comman sense approach. Certain micro nutrients (zinc) are valuable in your starter, especially when soils are deficient or if you're planting early in cold soils (48 - 54 f ). Root stimulants may be helpful, but not if your fertility needs a lot of work. The bottom line is... Work with an agronomist that has a good reputation and knows how to say "I don't know", and except you may have quite a bit of lime and other fertilizers (manure) to apply before you will realize a benefit from "starter additives". A lot of folks have their favorite "snake oil" and will talk for hours why you should be using it on every acre. Ask for labels and review the active ingredient(s) with a qualified agronomst(s).
8:11 AM Oct 6th
 



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